A Will, often referred to as a Last Will and Testament, is a legal document, that sets out how your property and assets are distributed upon your death. In a Will you can also appoint guardians for any minor children and make a plan for any pets that may survive you.
It is an important document because it outlines your personal wishes for your loved ones. Without a valid Will, your estate may be settled according to the applicable laws of your province or state of residence, even risking becoming state property. Going through this process can be complicated and difficult for your family, often incurring higher legal fees and leaving potential for costly disputes between family members.
In a Will you can also appointment people that you trust to carry out your wishes. In many provinces and states this role is called an Executor or a Personal Representative, and this individual(s) follows your instructions to distribute your assets. This is an important role, with legal oversight of your estate through the distribution process and this person may be required to take on tasks that can be difficult or challenging.
At the end of the day, a Will, is a proactive way to make your wishes known, while minimizing family disagreements and tensions, especially during a difficult time for your friends and family.